updated: 1/9/2013 1:06:15 PM

Fort Wayne Mayor: Infrastructure Among Key Challenges

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry would like to see an increase in the state’s gasoline tax to help deal with what he calls a significant challenge in paying for infrastructure projects. Henry says gasoline tax revenues have dropped dramatically for cities and towns in Indiana and that has made it difficult to provide even basic maintenance. The mayor was in Indianapolis Wednesday for talks with Indiana legislators and stopped by Studio(i) for an interview with Gerry Dick.

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The mayor says in past years, the city would receive seven or eight million dollars per year in gas tax revenue. However, since the recession hit and people began driving less and buying more fuel-efficient vehicles, that money has been cut nearly in half.

Henry says while he knows most people don't want to hear about any kind of tax increase, state lawmakers understand the struggle communities are facing. He believes there will be support for a potential increase in the legislature.

Henry says an increased gas tax is not the only option to help fund infrastructure projects. Lawmakers may also consider a Bureau of Motor Vehicles transaction fee.

The mayor says education is also a significant challenge. Henry says multiple union leaders have approached with concern about a decrease in the number of students deciding to learn a trade rather than pursuing a four-year degree.

Source: City of Fort Wayne, Inside INdiana Business

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